paper. source. y'all.

my best friend hyunoo moved from birmingham, alabama to DC after graduating college in 2008. i've been heading up there to visit him at least annually ever since, and every time i'm up there i specifically request making a special trip to paper source. for years, YEARS before i even thought of starting my own stationery business, i've been wandering through the paper source store in alexandria, VA with the dreamiest of dreamy eyes... just basically getting lost in the cuteness and feeling so inspired to make things and share art with people.

it wasn't really until i started getting involved in the stationery world that i realized what a big store paper source is... and that they actually carry cards from other small businesses like mine! so since i launched my business, it had been a dream of mine to work with them... and this year my dream came true (slash hard work and persistence paid off? however you choose to look at it)! i'm so thrilled to share that one of my cards is now available at paper source! after packaging and labeling over 600 copies of this card all by myself... i had the teary eyed privilege of visiting it in its new home at paper source this past week! i've also already had friends in seattle, WA and (you guessed it!) alexandria, VA send me photos of themselves with my card in the store. i'm feeling so proud and accomplished and delighted! going to try to hang on to this feeling for a while.

i took the original painting to paper source to see how far she had made it in the world <3

i took the original painting to paper source to see how far she had made it in the world <3

i heart animal puns <3 ~ you can snag this card from my etsy store OR AT YOUR LOCAL PAPER SOURCE!!! OMGGG! <3

i heart animal puns <3 ~ you can snag this card from my etsy store OR AT YOUR LOCAL PAPER SOURCE!!! OMGGG! <3

summer can end now

each summer, my husband's family assembles at their 100 year old camp in the adirondacks to enjoy however long they are able to break free from normal life in a quiet, cool, mostly off the grid, lakeside paradise. it's literally the most magical place on earth. i am so lucky to get to share in this summer tradition. i look forward to it all year. it's one of the few things about summer that truly makes me happy. also, since we go in late july it also signals the end of summer... which makes me even happier!

two years ago, we flew up to camp the day after i found out i was pregnant. i was completely panicked and very tired the whole time. last year, we drove from NC to NY with a four month old baby and barely left camp. this year, our sixteen month old enjoyed running around and playing with her not too distant cousins and we actually got to enjoy some swimming/boating/swanning time... we even went into town one night on an adult dinner outing with matt's two cousins and their husbands!

i just put a lot of 120mm film photos from our trip on my 2017 photography page... while doing that, i realized i left out an entire roll of b&w film from may that i recently had developed! i'll get on updating that soon. check out the photos here --> http://tylre.com/film-2017

new skill in development alert

last week this Cute Girl who works at Cute Shop in town had me over to her Cute House to teach me how to screenprint. i think she was just being polite when she offered to teach me, but i took her up on it anyway! and... it was amazing. i LOVE learning. i LOVE making things with my hands. and i had no idea, really, that this would be so similar to photography and photolithography (what i did at work as an engineer only 6 months ago, before i left for a while to stay home with my daughter). anyway, i found myself super smitten with the process and my mind has been flooded with thoughts of cool potential screenprinting projects.

before this encounter with Cute Girl, btw check out her awesome work here - i had been thinking a lot about buying a letterpress. oh, i also have this giant scary spreadsheet going that showsme how much money i've made vs. spent on my business this year and let me tell you what... YIKES! >.< so i had been discouraged about how unreasonable it would be for me to buy a letterpress right now because, in my mind, letterpress = amazing combo of learning, making by hand, controlling production volume... but i hadn't really considered screenprinting.

so. this morning, i ordered a bunch of supplies with miriam's input. i'm looking forward to making a big mess and making more things.

here are a couple of snaps of the at home printing method miriam showed me ~ my design was a drawing of my daughter, silence, done by a 5 year old, for silence's 1 year birthday party this march. the drawing cracked us all up so much i've had it hanging in our house since the party. and now it exists on a bunch of prints & i can put it on LITERALLY ANYTHING I WANT! BWAHAHAHAHA! :) too much fun. more to come.

new stuff in the works

i've watched all the bob ross there is to see on netflix. i hope more will come along eventually. it's uplifting, relaxing, and totally inspiring. because of that binge watching, i've picked up some of his techniques, so i found that i can actually dream up a bob ross painting pretty easily from scratch. this one, however, i painted referencing a nice painting of his after a very short google image search. it took about an hour to finish and i was grinning the whole time. gouache is certainly a different animal from oil! no brush beater rack needed to save my marriage! i hope you love this as much as i do. this painting will be released as a greeting card in august! :)

until then... happy painting! and god bless, my friend!

little things around the house

for probably a good year, i've wanted to jazz up our stairs. my initial inclination was to make them glittery like a disco ball... or paint some elaborate rainbow... or paint them to look like a piano or something... but anyway, a couple of weeks ago i settled on a design all my own after falling in love with a colour scheme from one of my beloved pattern books. and you know what? I LOVE THEM! i get so giddy going up them now. i'm also excited for this to be the first thing you see when you walk into our house.

if you're considering doing something like this...

  1. DEFINITELY DO IT. we are so happy with it and it really only took a few sessions of committing about an hour to crouching awkwardly.
  2. it helps if you're not a perfectionist. i'm so not! but i could feel that things weren't exactly as i wanted them and could've spent a loooootttttt longer obsessing over them. but you know what? it looks fuckin' fantastic.
  3. stretch first and take breaks! i hurt my back after the first day and had to take a couple of days off.
  4. wallpaper would've been significantly easier...but, thinking ahead to me getting sick of it or us moving someday and wanting to make our house less batshit crazy for prospective buyers... painting over paint is so much easier than undoing wallpaper!

so there you go! a little peek into our house. please let me know if this inspires you to do something similar in your own home! i'd love to see pictures!

postable!

eee!!! ok! so! news! you can now buy a sampling of my cards through postable.com! if you are unfamiliar, their business concept is so cool - you can order cards, have your own personal message put inside, and then they get it all put together and mail it for you! what a genius idea. it's like, the convenience of an e-card, but a step beyond with an actual tangible card that's sure to make someone's day! they have so many incredible designers - i am honestly a little starstruck to be a part of such a cool community of artists here. click the image below to check it out!

back to reality

it's been ...? an eternity? five seconds? since NSS ended. since then i've been doing what i think the youth is referring to as getting my hustle on. i've packed orders and sent out catalogs to stores that expressed interest... as well as to stores that i have an interest in! i've shipped samples to a company that wanted them, i've modified all my freakin' card files (twice now, because i'm dumb) for a new licensing collab i'm hopeful i can share soon! i seriously just hope they can forgive me for being some engineer girl who can use photoshop but literally doesn't understand a single fucking thing they say when they try to tell me in Real Artist lingo how to set up my files for printing! art board? what the fuck is that? but can i get away with doing it like this? no? shit! ok! i'm thankful they've been so patient with me, but i'm sure i'm like really high on this one guy's Things To Just Give Up On list right now lol. SIGH!

so that's mostly what i've been doing! i even went downtown yesterday to legally register my business name with the state. maybe a little late. but hey! i did it! one big step closer to being legit. it's looking like i should be Officially good to go by next week. that'll be a huge relief.

i've got new exciting projects coming up - a girl who works at a cute shop in raleigh offered to teach me screenprinting and probably didn't think i'd take her up on it BUT I DID so we're doing that next week! i cannot wait! my husband bought me a screenprinting kit years ago and i've been too intimidated so mess with it! so! YAY!

i'm also resuming harp lessons next month. crazy exciting. i've made time to tune my harp a few times in the past weeks, and i've even been practicing some old exercises and songs! YAAAASSSS. maybe i'll make some new harp practice videos for you punks! <3

the one thing i have left to do is start painting again... i've used my silence naptime to pack orders, call stores, call the guv'ment, stuff like that. painting will come soon. as ever, too many ideas, not enough time! i'm super excited to release more new cards in august!

one of my secret projects is soon to be no longer a secret! ...and i'm kinda freaking out!

well! i mailed a really cool lenticular card i designed out to retailers this week and i am anxious to see if anyone is as amused by it as i am! it's been really hard for me not to post about my process and all the design iterations i've gone through with this project. i just feel like i'm on the cusp of something no one else in the greeting card circles i find myself in is doing. i think it's the most badass thing ever. i hope you agree!

since i decided to make stationery, i have been asking myself: what can i do that isn't letterpress? what can i do that isn't gold, holographic, or glitter foil? what can i do that isn't just painting pretty flowers on everything? i have been wondering how to set myself apart from other brands and have more of myself come through in my designs, and i really feel like i'm on the right track with all my new designs and products for NSS 2017!

the inspiration for the lenticular card came when we were driving from the montrose airport to telluride a couple of months ago on our ski trip. i was staring at one of silence's toys, a little phone that has a panda on it. i bought it for her because i handed it to her just to occupy her while i checked out, but then she wouldn't let me put it back without a huge fuss (how could i not see that coming???), so i figured whatever, it's cheap, happy to find something that makes her happy. the panda moves and says hi and bye depending on the viewing angle.

i'm an artist who happens to also be an engineer. i like making things. i like seeing how things work. i like when my brain hurts thinking about how things work. lenticular technology is so freakin' cool... once i finally did enough googling describing my daughter's toy phone image and learned the term "lenticular", i was completely set on making something with it for my card line. on our vacation i brainstormed tons of ideas for lenticular cards and researched places to print the cards for me. since then i've painted a handful of designs, i've received samples from several US manufacturers, and i've got more samples on the way! i'm really pumped to share something i hope you'll think is awesome, and although the technology is nothing new, i hope you will find it to be as new and refreshing of an idea for this indie stationery niche as it was for me!

tyler not tylre

lately i've been caught in a pretty fun and stressful swirl of new product creation, product/sample receiving, design adjusting, painting painting painting, oh and of course that incessant mother/wife/friend/daughter-ing that i love so! more than usual it has been a chore to make some time to focus on just enjoying things i enjoy without some kind of pressure to deliver on a deadline or meet a certain (self-imposed) goal.

tuesdays and thursdays, though, i have ballet and it's such a wonderful release. i started a few years ago, i'm not very good at all, but i couldn't love it more. we have an amaaaaaazing teacher who just blows me away with her ability to demonstrate and break down every little thing she asks us to do. i love her ability to keep our adult class serious but light-hearted and inviting.

back in 2012 i started playing harp and taking lessons. i played lever harp for almost a year before taking the plunge and buying myself a glorious concert grand pedal harp. but a little over a year ago, my work as an engineer was SO stressful, i would barely make it to lessons on time after work, and i decided to stop my lessons in preparation for silence's arrival since i had no idea what to expect becoming a mother. i do still play a little from time to time, but especially with NSS stuff recently i haven't had the time to practice regularly. and for some reason it has been easier for me to sit down at the piano and practice because i can plop silence in my lap while i play and not worry as much about her falling forward to her doom as if i were playing harp with her. but! i'm excited to say i also registered at the music school where i had been taking lessons and will resume with my beyond fabulous teacher in july! i cannot wait.

man i am lucky to have so many wonderful teachers in my life! thinking back to my former bosses and workmates in engineering...ugh, i miss them. i really just love learning, making things, solving problems... and i love teaching people things. as challenging as it could be at times, i really loved being a manager at work because i genuinely love sharing what i know with people. for now, i'll pour all my teaching energy into silence. she's saying a bunch of words now, mixed with a bunch of incoherent babbling, i cannot wait. we're on the cusp of being able to communicate easily!!! i cannot wait to speak french with her!!!!!! aaaahhh!!!! anyway. 

i have so many ideas for new things i want to paint, so many card designs i didn't finish in time for NSS, music i want to compose, music i want to learn to play... i'm excited to start spending some of silence's naps doing that instead of exclusively spending that time painting for the stationery show.

colorado, y u no close to me?

good morning! it's 5:41am if you check the oven clock here, or 6:41am if your phone sprung forward and is telling you true mountain time, or 8:41am if your computer is still on eastern. i've been in colorado skiing with my mom, brother, cousin, husband and babydarlin' for the past week and it has been sublime. this morning we head back to the east coast and lose all kinds of hours... but i couldn't be happier! i've gotten to SHRED SOME BLACK DIAMONDS, play card games with my family, explore the world's cutest (and most expensive, yikes) mountain town, and even paint some for the stationery show! best of all, some time away from my typical settings gave me some inspiration for new products to try out this year. hopefully by NSS.

i freakin' love skiing... it's like flying and ice ballet had a sweet little downhill baby. i think at this point i've been 5-6 times, but i can't remember. my first time was kinda bad. i lost control and slid into some dude at the bottom of the lift. tangle of skis. people yelling at me. lost confidence. the trip after that, i think thanks to my family's encouragement and strength and flexibility gained from ballet, i was back on track. by my second or third trip i was definitely in control and craving speed, and most importantly having a fucking great time!

traveling with our daughter (1 year old next week, wow!) has been a little difficult. so much gear is required, even though i swear we did a great job paring it down and packing light. worse than that, she's been more cranky on this trip than i can recall her ever being for this long... but she's teething, and we have had her mostly trapped in a condo because it's freeeeezing outside and her little cheeks get so chapped in the cold wind, and her nose is dry because humidity is not a thing here, and she caught a little cold from touching. every. thing. from. north carolina. to. here. but seeing her take her first steps in telluride will be a beautiful memory to share with her for the rest of days! watching her look at and try to understand a chunk of snow in papa's hand will also be a fun memory... and her first gondola ride... and getting to be an expert at backing a stroller out of a moving gondola... these are all great accomplishments worth the trouble of leaving our house, haha! i'm excited to continue to make our vacations more complicated and joyous by bringing her along. every day, i've appreciated how incredibly fortunate we are to have the opportunity to come here and do this at all.

design for cotton bureau

has anyone else been feeling helpless/afraid/anxious/nauseous/frustrated/baffled/pissed since november? oh, right, like >50% of voters? has anyone else been having as hard a time figuring out what to do with that energy? i've made calls to senators, i've written letters to senators and representatives, and most recently i made a baby onesie/toddler shirt design for cotton bureau and they actually liked and accepted and are going to print! my design is for mini resisters. our open-hearted, curious, loving kids who we are going to have to explain all this shit to one day. you can get a toddler shirt or onesie in lavender, lime, and white, and i'm donating 50% of my profits to the ACLU.

shop the design here : https://cottonbureau.com/kids/products/woke-bae

local art thing!

yesterday my friend kinsey and i went to a really cute boutique in downtown raleigh and attended a little afternoon cross-stitching/mimosa fest. it was freakin' awesome. i was so glad kinsey agreed to go with me. i'm bad at interacting with strangers, but i love doing art stuff and i desperately want to make friends with other crafty people. (lol did i actually talk to anyone and try to make friends with them? no! of course not! way too shy! but i was THERE. baby steps.) so! my darling husband agreed to watch our daughter for a few hours while i went out and did something frivolous, creative, and just for myself. it ruled.

the store and group hosting the gathering had four cute designs to choose from, plus blank cloths for you to design your own thing. guess which one i chose, ha! so now, as a treat for reading my dumb blog, you get to be in on a little design secret i've been keeping... i'm obsessed with lightning font. i'm working on a series of lightning font cards for NSS... they're badass. i can't wait to share them with you.

thanks edge of urge & craft habitat for a splendid sunday afternoon!!

here's kinsey cross-stitching "stay nasty" using a template from the geniuses behind the shindig.

here's kinsey cross-stitching "stay nasty" using a template from the geniuses behind the shindig.

meanwhile, here i am mad scientisting the shit out of a freehand design of some words i've wanted to cross-stitch for a loooooong time......

meanwhile, here i am mad scientisting the shit out of a freehand design of some words i've wanted to cross-stitch for a loooooong time......

here's a misfire kinsey took of my feet while figuring out my camera. just wanted to share how cool my boots are.

here's a misfire kinsey took of my feet while figuring out my camera. just wanted to share how cool my boots are.

a lot of work left to do here, but i can already tell it's going to bring me calm for years to come

a lot of work left to do here, but i can already tell it's going to bring me calm for years to come

film update

had my second and third rolls of 120mm (for 2017) developed while on a road trip with my mom over the past two weeks. these rolls were actually a little discouraging... i liked a higher percentage of shots from the first roll. i've gotten out of bed a few times to snap a picture at the end of the day, just because i set this picture every day expectation for myself. and some of those snaps were total crap. i felt it on the current roll, which i haven't even seen yet (oh god), and i felt it more when i saw the results from the rolls i got developed! so... anyway... learning things! at this point i've missed two days. i'm not sure right now if i want to continue trying to take a photo every day as forced practice, or try to be a little more selective about it. while i make up my mind i'll keep taking a photo every day. it will be easier now that our road trip is over and i have access to all my stuff at all times!

here are some of the photos from the colour roll that i liked. i'll update the running log page over the weekend and include shots from the my b&w snow day walk! hope you like these as much as i do.

window friend, father & son antiques, downtown raleigh.

window friend, father & son antiques, downtown raleigh.

SCAD theater downtown savannah by night.

SCAD theater downtown savannah by night.

MLK day parade in downtown savannah. i was in band in high school so watching this parade made me feel ALL KINDS OF FEELS on top of the ever-present wishes for world peace, equality, a time warp, etc...

MLK day parade in downtown savannah. i was in band in high school so watching this parade made me feel ALL KINDS OF FEELS on top of the ever-present wishes for world peace, equality, a time warp, etc...

mom's hand holding a shadow, i instagrammed a snap of my own hand this way and liked it so much.

mom's hand holding a shadow, i instagrammed a snap of my own hand this way and liked it so much.

a bright and sunny row of buildings in downtown savannah, snapped through my sunglasses while we were eating lunch.

a bright and sunny row of buildings in downtown savannah, snapped through my sunglasses while we were eating lunch.

TOTES BASIC pic of some of the beautiful moss hanging in the sunlight in savannah.

TOTES BASIC pic of some of the beautiful moss hanging in the sunlight in savannah.

film photography!

i'm an early riser... or i have trouble sleeping... or i have trouble falling back asleep after i wake up at ridiculous hours like 4am... my dad is also an insanely early riser. he naps a lot to compensate. me? i can't nap. i hate naps. naps make me feel like death. so i just drink lots of strong coffee and fight that shit like a whiny 10 month old baby (*cough* silence *cough*). for years, since high school i think... i can't remember when it really started... when i would wake up crazy early like that, i'd go downstairs or upstairs or whatever depending on our location, and meet my father in the kitchen for some coffee. he'd already be up, usually fully dressed, working on an oil painting, watching the news, smoking a cigar, and drinking coffee... sometimes he'd be packing one of his many camera bags with a plan to go out and shoot as the sun came up. on those days, i'd tag along and shoot with him. we continued this tradition all through college and to this day, but it's not quite as easy to get away for an excursion these days with a baby, and trying to see as many friends and family as possible during our short visits at home.

i think my serious love for photography started in high school. back then i used to ebay and buy old polaroids and i accumulated a handful of fun lomo cameras at that time. my favourite camera has always been my mom's old yashica manual 35mm. even after receiving multiple less janky 35mms to play with, this crazy old thing with an insane light leak is the most comfortable camera for me to use. i just love it.

over our trip home to alabama for christmas, my dad lent me his mamiya 645 120mm! i've used it before, to shoot one or two rolls, but for whatever reason right now i feel a really strong urge to explore my creativity with photography more. i want to capture better quality photos of silence as she grows up, and i want something to hurt my brain the way photo composition and tinkering with exposure settings can. so! from photography to photolithography and back again!

here are a couple of shots from the rolls i just had developed. i've been exploring double exposures a bit. hope you enjoy! if you're really into it, i made a page for the photos i've been taking with the medium format camera... follow along! http://www.tylre.com/film-2017

yashica 35mm

mamiya 645, 120mm